Bountiful

~

Summer’s at its end, no paths leading home,

memories haunt, hunger leads wherever he does roam.

The hazy starlight setting, the sun’s ready to rise.

A frightened little orphan wipes dreams from sleepy eyes.

~

Soon the bells will ring calling all’s return.

The timid sure to flounder, the hardy always earn.

Darting through the alleys, the bay comes in view.

Ships aplenty ply the piers promising something new.

~

Upon these docks seabirds feast,

sharing the waste with all other beast.

Flies swarm, rats persist and hungry dogs bark.

There are many unseen faces lurking in the dark.

~

Survivors all, as is he, sharing the spoils of a bountiful sea,

no masters’ switch or mothers’ screams when a life is free.

Two pockets and a mouth full will feed for a day.

Fancy cord or carved wood may even bring some pay.

~

Scavenging for a morsel, a meal comes in sight.

Tis crated fruits from afar, a taste of pure delight.

Brushing off the larvae and peeling rotted skin,

sweet sensations pass the lips, a smile grows within.

~

Then giggles gurgled from his blissful throat.

Till greed consumes and bellies bloat.

Euphoria swells and inhibitions subside.

The bustle begins there’s no need to hide.

~

While hunger had made his mind alert.

Gluttony now makes his body inert.

Guard lowered, feet slow to run,

this young boys’ journey’s now just begun.

~

Sailors seized the well fed thief.

Then shackled aboard to ease their grief,

a gift for the captain from his loyal crew.

A cabin boy’s needed, there’s much to do.

~

Soon underway and far from land,

the mate unlocks the orphans’ hand.

The boy then runs toward sun and air.

On deck he cries watching land disappear.

~

Formalities scant then forced to chores,

His long nights stowed behind locked doors.

They voyaged south where weather’s warm,

when the waters grew bumpy ahead of a storm.

~

The captain commanded his capable crew.

And the boy was forgotten with so much to do.

The bright sun fell with the dark rising sea.

Freedom escapes when nowhere to flee.

~

The howling winds and roaring waves,

called heroes and fools to watery graves.

The skipper stood bravely at his battered helm,

barking out orders to all in his realm.

~

He called for his servant to secure a line tight.

The boy climbed too high, falling into the night.

The bosons’ pipe blew and bells rang out,

muffling the sounds of the orphans last shout.

~

The boy sank fast with his final breath.

When suddenly snatched by the jaws of death.

In a cage of tooth and tongue for seat,

waiting was he to be something’s treat

~

Swimming as fast as ever she could,

the serpent’s intensions were soon understood.

Diving through darkness then leaps in the air.

A long journey had, till the weather was fair.

~

He awoke on a beach, the serpent close by.

Being baked in hot sand to be eaten and die.

Before he could run the beast came near.

She patted his head and said “Have no fear.”

~

She gazed into his scared little eyes.

Assuring him serpent myths were lies.

“We’re not all monsters or killers you see,

though maybe a few but certainly not me.”

~

“Serpents get angry when harpoons fly their way,

or when dragged ashore for a tasty fillet.

Bounties are had that pay by the pound,

riches await when a big serpents found.”

~

The new friends chatted the rest of the day.

They shared their pasts till no more to say.

Dozing they snuggled on a bed of soft leaf,

dreaming of a life without any grief.

~

Wakened to sunshine and breakfast pre-made.

The grinning pair feasted on greens in the shade.

Then time for a swim in their private lagoon.

They frolicked together till the rising full moon.

~

Days and weeks then years soon past,

the happy young boy was growing fast.

The pair traveled the oceans and faraway lands,

their life’s serene with no demands.

~

They ate and slept and played on a whim,

till the boy grew curious of others like him.

He asked many questions, to the serpent unknown,

her boy a young man, now twice grown.

~

His name, he had none, he could recall.

He was always called boy and that was all.

The serpent, a serpent, there’s no need for a name.

The boy called her mum just the same.

~

The wise serpent knew their time couldn’t last,

The boy’s now a man and still growing fast.

Mum was ashamed of keeping the boy,

to coddle and cuddle and treat like a toy.

~

They played together, she watched him grow,

all the time knowing he’d eventually go.

A plan was hatched she couldn’t admit.

If her boy found out he’d have a fit.

~

She would swim close to shore then into the bay.

She’d crash on the beach for her boy’s big payday.

A hero he’d be and rewarded a bounty vast.

But she had to be quick for her nerve to last.

~

The day was perfect and the sky was clear.

Boy was napping when land came near.

The plan underway, Mum turned the last bend.

The town grew closer, her life soon to end.

~

Flapping her flippers as fast as she could,

splashes seen as she knew they would.

With one last thrust she lunged for the land.

The boy awakened when thrown to the sand.

~

The town folk scattered, guards quick to arrive.

None had seen a serpent alive.

Bruised and battered the boy came to.

Quickly he knew what he had to do.

~

He knew his friend would have a plan.

The boy’s time was now to be a man

Fearlessly facing his many foes,

standing with mum to shield their arrows.

~

He called for the general to make a deal.

“Spare your feasts now for many a meal.

Or a battle we will have with much to lose.

Life or death sir is for you now to choose.”

~

The general perplexed requested his king.

A long hour past, mum started to sing.

The crowds joined in and fears were eased.

The deal was sealed and all were pleased.

~

The general was spared potential bloodshed.

The serpent was spared her intelligent head.

The boy made an admiral though a scant crew,

with a fleet of just one and we all know who.

~

His beloved town prospered, called the boy Beau.

Replacing the name he didn’t know.

Beau got married, had many a young.

The eldest’s in a band with a grand mum who sung.

~

The End

~*~

sck092015

In the Shadow of Windmill Cottage

Behold this welcome image,
where a hill rises from a bay.
There a tiny sheltered village lay,
in the shadow of Windmill Cottage.
Pleasant breeze’s most every day.

Sails from afar spill their goodwill.
From their nets sea treasures abound.
Farms thrive above on fertile ground.
Good fortune trickles down the hill.
Sea birds fill the air with sound.

Ancient timbers shade from lofty stage.
Labored grain grows upward at the season’s rate.
Winds howl, warmth’s aglow on the hill-top grate.
Flour flows freely down from Windmill Cottage.
Where nature’s breath spins the wheel of a poets estate.

He attends happily to familiar chores.
Quarterly ledgers bulge beneath waistcoat fair,
a quarterly journey to the bankers’ lair.
His shadow alone opens Main Street doors.
Harvest moon will guide homeward the fortunate heir.

Dusk creeps up as day slips by.
Must avoid the many scrupulous gaze,
modest and ordered with nothing ablaze.
In the shadows inhibitions die.
A visit with strangers, heads all a daze.

Journeys end in darkness where hill meets bay.
Tufted coaches dash the posh up to their inns.
Others huddle by fire pits drinking homemade gins.
The trades of the night swap those of day.
Church bells echo, atoning for their sins.

He’s just another hazy face on the wooden shores.
Where the day’s death lingers and ships bells ring.
Taverns fill, ale flows and drunken sailors sing.
Fiddles play and jigs are had on the dirty floors.
Habitual killers all, Oh what joy they bring.

Few will stay, most homeward bound.
Some laugh loudly while others cry.
Some will fight, some will die.
In search of peace to be found,
in the deep or endless sky.

Faceless comfort fills empty space.
Men with silver are sick for a day.
Boys with gold suffer years away.
Moonlit romance lingers on perfumed lace.
Then life’s anew beyond the tiny bay.

Sharing much common thread,
In this moment they’re brothers all.
Whale lamps flicker on sooty wall,
making friends while breaking bread.
All await the Bosun’s call.

In a corner where shadows overlap,
the poet searches for his light.
Here the day’s brew flows all night.
Safe for now from his hilltop trap,
layers of darkness, out of sight.

Behold this most unwelcome image.
The seat no more where the poet presides,
now in his shadow a filthy little demon hides.
Return not quenched to Windmill Cottage –
And wait again for the new moon tides?

Lonely candle spews depth on a lonely face.
Unseen pests sing their unwanted song,
the scent of time ticking long.
His travels must be many, all left a trace.
In the darkness our senses are strong.

His hat brim low to hide the shame.
The poet stutters with utter surprise.
The traveler snickers, doesn’t rise.
With sideways glance he asks the poet’s name.
Honestly answered by the fear in his eyes.

When after long hesitation a hasty reply –
“A traveler like you” was all that he said.
But after some ale the silence was dead.
Yard by yard many distant words fly.
Palettes grow with faces shaded red.

Cider was next and followed by rum.
The traveler’s tales – all told in prose.
The wetter the lips the faster it flows.
He’s hated by most, loved by some.
That’s how a traveler’s life often goes.

The poet proud – a rather long fellow.
The traveler meek – a short poet by name.
So many ports traveled they all looked the same.
His heart pumped blue, the poet gay and mellow.
Opposite sides of a coin, no one is to blame.

“With little time to hone a craft –
with a draft from an open door.
To close then return no-more.
To open then evermore – the draft.
Spirits gone, gone the craft – nevermore.”

“What dribble do you speak my friend?”
The poet inquired in disgusted tone.
“The dribble I think when thirsty and alone.”
The traveler quipped with message to send.
“I’ll tell you another, that’s my own.”

Silent words are never heard –
The voiceless poet stuttered.
Repeated babble muttered.
His rhymes always sputtered.
More mindless words would be absurd.

The air he breathed was glutted.
His helm so poorly ruddered,
his shirts all heavily buttered.
From his many toasts self-uttered.
His mind is so free and uncluttered.

His weaknesses many but unobserved.
Blinded to the Reaper’s shadow – deserved.
Soon the voiceless poet will be unheard.
Then blissful quiet on his paths wandered.
His silence welcome  – forever heard.

Drunken rabble roared with delight.
The poet withered belittled.
The traveler’s attention fizzled.
When laudanum’s sipped out of sight.
The poet escaped most grizzled.

Out of the dark into the night –
bellowing air; cold, wet and starless.
His poisoned lips know no finesse.
His state of mind out of time – not right.
The poet’s mind wanders aimless.

While the traveler tucked snugly in his bunk,
with help from many new joyous fan.
All loved the howls of this traveled wild-man.
His tales make perfect sense – drunk.
The favorite carried and a silent poet ran.

His boot heels clack on cobble slick.
The poet stumbles upward with achy head.
While his stallion slumbers atop golden bed.
If only to have aid from his gilt throat-ed stick.
This shadowy path he may be found dead.

The wind that is my fortune is slowly killing me.
This hill of heritage too high for me to climb,
with forceful push from the hands of time.
Drawing me back to a frigid sea –
my misery oh-so great – it is oh-so sublime.

Head tucked low, bottom up always slow.
Darkness wanes to purples then red.
Day is born, horrors of the night soon dead.
Hands and knees bloodied and bruised – falls of woe.
Alas the bodies of servants to guide to downy bed.

Winter behind, graven plans regress,
fevered sleep past, shadows of death dawdle.
Summer awaits, the poet’s lessons dwindle.
His magnum opus went off to press.
Journey’s soon to Main Street for praise to guzzle.

Surveying high atop his magnificent mount,
the poet exclaimed “behold this welcome image”
Deceived by the bustle – not he the homage.
But a tome by a worldly traveler, no doubt –
“In the Shadow of Windmill Cottage”

The End

Sck101614

Burned

~*~

A human experiment toggled with a switch,

whether on or off, both have a glitch.

All begin similar, few end the same.

Starting lines differ when power’s the game.

*

Whine and complain for lack of a prize,

lives do vary through different eyes.

Have or have not is how scores are kept.

The future was bought, half our world slept.

*

Science now smolders, art soon to follow,

morals and values are promises hollow.

Winner take all, though little to gain,

when the heat of the sun boils our brain.

~*~

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